by The Editors | March 1, 2019

What To Do in Florida This Spring: The Tide

Road-trip-worthy events throughout the Sunshine State

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Panama City Beach’s UNwineD festival features wines from around the world, the region’s best chefs and mixologists and Grammy-award-winning musicians.

UNwineD

Panama City Beach
March 22–23
Promotion

Nothing says Springtime in Florida like a chilled glass of rosé and a warm ocean breeze. Toast the season (again and again) at this two-day festival featuring wine, craft beer, specialty cocktails and music, taking place at Aaron Bessant Park. UNwineD kicks off on Friday with an exclusive party, where only 300 guests sample dishes from top chefs and mixologists like Kevin Gillespie and Mercedes O’Brien, both of Atlanta’s Gun Show and soon-to-open Cold Beer. “This year’s garden party and grand tasting is shaping up to be one of the most memorable weekends of the year, featuring the best cuisine, cocktails and live music in Northwest Florida,” said Dan Rowe, president of Visit Panama City Beach. Now in its third year, UNwineD is Panama City Beach’s signature event, inviting wine lovers and foodies to meet the makers, mingle with chefs and take in performances from national artists like three-time Grammy winner Brandi Carlile and JOHNNYSWIM. The best part? The festivities unfold just steps away from Panama City’s signature white sandy beaches. visitpanamacitybeach.com/unwined


 

Actor Stanley Tucci signs autographs for fans at the closing night ceremony and screening of ‘Paris Can Wait’ during the 2017 Sarasota Film Festival. Photography by Aaron Davidson

SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL

Sarasota
April 5-14
Promotion

What started as a three-day festival more than 20 years ago has transformed into a 10-day celebration of cinema respected by some of Hollywood’s biggest actors, directors and film industry executives. Venues across town roll out the red carpet for locals and celebrities to attend hundreds of screenings, awards and panels. “We have been heralded by leading entertainment media as being the apex of regional American film festivals,” said Mark Famiglio, president of the Sarasota Film Festival. “While we’ve come to be known globally, most important to us has been the Florida film-going public, which applauds visiting filmmakers.” Past guests have included Academy Award winners Richard Dreyfuss and Sophia Loren, as well as comedian-turned-director Bo Burnham. sarasotafilmfestival.com


Editor’s Picks of Where to Go and What to See Right Now


NORTH FLORIDA


Dave Matthews Band will kick off its 2019 summer tour at the Pensacola Bay Center. Photography by Danny Clinch

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND LIVE 

PENSACOLA
APRIL 30

For the first time ever, Dave Matthews Band takes the stage in Pensacola Bay. It’s one of four Florida tour dates, which include stops in West Palm Beach and Jacksonville. The Grammy-winning rock band from Virginia is known for songs like “Crash Into Me” and “American Baby.” Dave Matthews Band will kick off its 2019 summer tour at the Pensacola Bay Center. Additional stops include Colorado, North Carolina and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. In 2016, Dave Matthews Band celebrated its 25th anniversary and last year, the band released its ninth studio album, Come Tomorrow. Keeping up with the band’s last six studio album releases, Come Tomorrow peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 200 chart. With every ticket purchase, the group is including an unreleased live recording from its 2018 tour. The song can be redeemed online through the band’s website with proof of purchase. davematthewsband.com/tours


Photography by Deremer Studios LLC

AMELIA ISLAND CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE 

AMELIA ISLAND
March 7-10

A car lover’s dream, this automotive charity event showcases hundreds of rare cars, new and old, from Duesenbergs to Porsches. Test drives are also available. ameliaconcours.org


THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

PONTE VEDRA BEACH
March 12–17

This annual golf tournament has a party atmosphere with local food and drink vendors including Hawkers Asian Street Fare, Hoptinger Bier Garden and Sausage House. theplayers.com


Photography courtesy of Visit Panama City Beach


25th ANNIVERSARY SPRING TOUR

BROOKSVILLE & IVERNESS
March 29–31 & April 1–3

More than 500 cyclists discover Florida’s landscape by bike. Enjoy communal meals, live music, games and camping at each site. bikeflorida.org


TALLAHASSEE FILM FESTIVAL 

TALLAHASSEE
April 5–7

This celebration of independent films screens a mix of more than 90 documentaries, dramas and short films. Preview films by future Oscar-winning directors before people know their names. tallahasseefilmfestival.com


WORD OF SOUTH

TALLAHASSEE
April 12–14

Music and literature join forces when more than 50 authors and musicians share their work. The annual festival, now in its fifth year, takes place at Cascades Park, a 24-acre venue downtown. wordofsouthfestival.com


Photography by Roger Kirby

ISLE OF EIGHT FLAGS SHRIMP FESTIVAL 

FERNANDINA BEACH
May 3–5

Walk the docks and the historic downtown. Revelers pile their plates with hushpuppies, fried fish and of course, shrimp at this annual celebration of seafood. shrimpfestival.com


FORGOTTEN COAST EN PLEIN AIR

APALACHICOLA
May 3–12

World-renowned artists convene to portray the scenery and culture of old Florida through painting at this ten-day gathering. The fair concentrates on restoring land affected by hurricane destruction. pleinairfl.com


CENTRAL FLORIDA


IndyCars race past the iconic Dali museum in downtown St. Petersburg. Photography by Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG 

ST. PETERSBURG
March 8–10

IndyCar drivers race through downtown St. Petersburg on a temporary course that includes the runways at the Albert Whitted Airport. Take in the extensive views of the city—including the iconic Dali Museum and the Duke Energy Center for the Arts—while enjoying local food and interactive activities such as beer gardens, an IndyCar series fan village and driver autograph sessions. The race circuit features a 14-turn configuration that uses streets in the surrounding area. A three-day festival downtown will kick off the ninth straight year of the IndyCar Series. “The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a must-do event,” Kim Green, CEO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, which organizes the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, said. “St. Pete is a world-class setting with absolutely terrific sightlines of the Tampa Bay, and the downtown remains open for fans to experience its great restaurants and shopping. This is the ideal coastal destination for both the fans and drivers to get a new IndyCar season started.” gpstpete.com


Topiary artists have found new ways to use a wider variety of plant materials to represent character topiary facial features, bringing Belle’s face to life. Photography by Matt Stroshane

EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL 

ORLANDO
March 6–June 3

Botanical enthusiasts wander through gardens with themes including Shakespeare, surrounded by more than 70 Disney-inspired topiaries. disneyworld.disney.go.com


GASPARILLA CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE 

TAMPA
April 13

This car show is part of Tampa Bay’s Gasparilla festivities. Rare and historic automobiles and motorcycles will be on display. gasparillaconcours.com


WINTER PARK SIDEWALK ART FESTIVAL 

WINTER PARK
March 15–17

One of the oldest, most prestigious juried fine art shows in the nation. Enjoy eats from vendors and mom-and-pop shops lining Park Avenue. wpsaf.org


GASPARILLA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL  

TAMPA
March 19–24

Hundreds of documentaries, short and feature length films, some never before seen in the U.S., debut in venues throughout the city. gasparillafilmfestival.com 


SUNNYLAND ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC BOAT FESTIVAL 

TAVARES
March 21–24

More than 300 vessels convene at the largest classic wood boat show in the U.S. featuring a nautical-themed flea market, seaplane rides and more. acbs-sunnyland.org


FLORIDA BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL 

KISSIMMEE
March 28–31

Savor all things blueberry including fresh Florida blueberries, pies and other sweets at this four-day festival featuring a juried art show, a wine bar and free music. floridablueberryfestival.org


MELBOURNE AIR AND SPACE SHOW 

MELBOURNE
March 30–31

Watch as the F-35 Lighting II Demo Team makes their North American debut. Also known as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the aircraft they’ll fly is the most advanced fighter in the world. airandspaceshow.com


MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SPRING TRAINING 

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS THROUGH MARCH 26

As part of Major League Baseball’s Grapefruit League, fans can root on teams, including the New York Mets and Houston Astros, as they prepare for next season in the Sunshine State. mlb.com 


SOUTH FLORIDA


The U.S. Open Polo Championship was first played in 1904 and regarded one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country. Photography by United States Polo Association/David Lominska

SOUTH U.S. OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP & THE GAY POLO LEAGUE TOURNAMENT 

WELLINGTON
March 27–April 21 & April 4–7

Spanning 250 acres, The International Polo Club is a world-renowned polo destination. The tournament will host multiple events and matches featuring the world’s best horses and players throughout the winter and early spring. Polo is a team sport that requires coordination between a rider and their horse. The U.S. Open Polo Championship is a timeless tradition, first played in 1904 and regarded one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country. In addition, one of the featured tournaments this year is for the league’s LGBT polo team. The league includes people of different ages, backgrounds and skill levels—some of the teammates never rode a horse before joining. All of the matches are open to the public and are played in brackets. The top team from each bracket will go to semifinals and advance to quarters and of course, finals. Spectators can sip on champagne while watching matches from the stands or field-side seating. ipc.coth.com


MIAMI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 

MIAMI
March 1–10

This film festival spans across multiple venues and features showings from up-and-coming directors. Guests can see films before the movies are released to the public. miamifilmfestival.com


ORCHID FESTIVAL AT FAIRCHILD 

CORAL GABLES
March 8–10

Explore a maze of 10,000 orchid plants and exhibits at this botany celebration. Learn about orchid culture and floral photography, and take home a plant from one of the vendors. fairchildgarden.org


Photography courtesy Miami Sailing Week

MIAMI SAILING WEEK 

MIAMI
March 4–10

Hundreds of competitors come from as many as 23 different countries to compete on the scenic waters of Biscayne Bay. The week prior is filled with award ceremonies, cocktail parties and cultural activities. miamisailingweek.com 


ORIGINAL MARATHON SEAFOOD FESTIVAL 

MARATHON
March 9–10

Appreciate locally caught fish, fresh oysters, lobster, shrimp and stone crab. Listen to local musicians and shop local vendors. marathonseafoodfestival.com


Sloane Stephens, winner of 2018 Miami Open; Photography courtesy Miami Open – Sloane Stephens

MIAMI OPEN 

MIAMI
March 18–31

The world’s top tennis players face-off at this premier tournament, taking place in its new location, the Hard Rock Stadium. miamiopen.com


FEMALE BREW FEST 

HALLANDALE
March 23

Created to highlight women in the beer industry, this festival showcases breweries from all over the country. femalebrewfest.com


PALM BEACH INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW 

WEST PALM BEACH
March 28–31

Yachts line the waterways as activities including a kids fishing class, seminars and more take place. pbboatshow.com


PEACE RIVER REVIVAL 

PUNTA GORDA
March 30

Vibe to funky music at this second annual festival that combines jazz, soul, bluegrass and rock. Florida-based band JJ Grey & Mofro headline the event. peaceriverrevivalpg.com


DELRAY AFFAIR 

DELRAY BEACH
April 12–14

Covering 12 blocks of downtown Delray Beach, the 57th annual fair has received awards for its wide selection of global art. delrayaffair.com


Headliner Kenny Chesney returns to Tortuga Music Festival. Photography by Jill Trunnell

TORTUGA MUSIC FESTIVAL 

FORT LAUDERDALE
April 12–14

Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and Sheryl Crow headline this concert on the beaches of Fort Lauderdale State Park. tortugamusicfestival.com


KEY WEST PADDLE CLASSIC 

KEY WEST
May 4

Paddle around Key West in this 12-mile race, open to canoes, kayaks, dory boats and of course paddleboards. lazydog.com/events


KEY WEST SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL

KEY WEST
May 8–12

Music fans descend on the streets of Key West to hear songwriters perform on stages from beaches to boats to bars and historic theaters. keywestsongwritersfestival.com